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October 28, 1962

Telegram from Polish Embassy in Havana (Jeleń), 28 October 1962

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

Ciphergram No. 15943


Dispatched from Havana on 10.28.1962 at 10:00


Received on 10.29.1962 at 13:05


Came into the Deciphering Department on 10.29.1962 at 11:00




From: [Ambassador Boleslaw] JELEN1


(10.28 21 GMT)


1) The press published the full text of Khrushchev’s letter from the 27th, as well as the summary of Kennedy’s reply from the same day. U Thant’s letter from the 26th and Castro’s reply from the 27th [were also published]. We know the rest of the information only from the radio broadcasts from abroad. It seems that the solution that is emerging from the letters, as well as Soviet and American statements, would in essence mean a significant progress towards creating an international status of today’s Cuba. Kennedy’s readiness to give guarantees of not invading Cuba, and expressing the conviction about the readiness of other countries from the [Western] hemisphere for such a move and allowing for a principle of international understanding to permanently solve the Cuban problem, should, in principle, give the Cuban side a far reaching atonement. We do not have any commentaries thus far and the headlines in the press are very cautious. I think that Fidel will submit to UN inspections.


2) [My comments regarding] the text of today’s communique by the Cuban government which was sent to the Polish Press Agency (PAP): “Out of five conditions posed by the Cubans the one which can significantly exacerbate the situation is the condition regarding the liquidation of the [American] base in Guantanamo. However, the conditions posed by the Cubans were made after the decision of the USSR to withdraw the Soviet military installations. Cuban conditions may be calculated in order to show that Cuba participated in making the decision. This is all in addition to a very troublesome situation for Castro caused by Khrushchev’s statement that the only caretaker of the new military installations is the USSR. The interpretation of the condition regarding Guantanamo can however boil down to the Cuban definition made until now, that is, that this is the only one which is recognized by international law. It is also worth mentioning that today’s communique by Fidel announced that Cuba would open fire on military planes that violate Cuban air space.[”]


3) According to unverified, but credible information, [Brazil’s President João Goulart] is said to have had a telephone conversation with Castro on the 22nd soon after Kennedy’s statement. [Goulart is to have] insisted that Cuba accept inspections and suggested that Castro have a full authority to decide the composition of the inspections. Castro is said to have decisively rejected even the thought of the inspection. Allegedly, on the 27th, [Cuban Foreign Minister Raúl] Roa is said to have come out with a request to the Brazilian government for Brazil to use its influence in order to solve the crisis.


[1] Poland’s ambassador to Cuba (1961-1965).


Jelen discusses the various diplomatic communication channels that are taking place during the Cuban Missile Crisis through speeches, letters, phone conversations, etc., mostly between the leaders of the US, the USSR and Cuba.

Document Information


Szyfrogramy from Hawana 1962, 6/77 w-82 t-1264, Polish Foreign Ministry Archive (AMSZ), Warsaw. Obtained by James G. Hershberg (George Washington University) and translated by Margaret K. Gnoinska (Troy University).


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